The Australian Renewable Energy Agency says climate change is now central to resetting the economy post-Covid-19 – a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a more resilient and prosperous Australia. We agree. Here are the main points:
- Australian companies, investors, and superannuation funds should invest in the development of ideas for long-term nation-building or breakthroughs in the transition to net-zero emissions.
- The transition to renewable energy must be accelerated and made central to any recovery plan.
- We need to push ahead with key projects:
- development of the Snowy Hydro expansion
- fast-tracking of key transmission infrastructure, such as the Victoria to NSW interconnector a second Basslink cable
- development of renewable energy zones and fast-tracking offshore wind
- increase energy efficiency and productivity
- We need to invest in [vast amounts of] green hydrogen for ‘green steel’ production and the global economy with $2-3b to support the industry.
- Renewable energy should be used to produce minerals and metals for export, particularly those critical for renewable energy systems such as solar panels and batteries, and we should rebuild manufacturing in these products and in electric transport.
- We should use renewable energy to make energy-intensive ‘green commodities’,
- And invest in restoring landscapes and coastal ecosystems and assist farmers to adopt more regenerative agriculture for maximizing the health of soils and productivity.
Martijn Wilder, founding partner of climate change advisory and investment firm Pollination Group, and chairman of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, article published in the Financial Review 15 May 2020
It’s also worth reading ARENAWire on how it’s possible to achieve 75% renewables in the National Energy Market over the next 5 years.
However, the Australian Energy Market Operator warns that it will be forced to cap renewables at 50 to 60 percent of the supply without market and regulatory reforms. AEMO CEO says “The Renewable Integration Study makes it clear that today’s operating approaches and market frameworks are becoming less effective as the NEM continues its transformation to world-leading levels of renewable generation”.